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Microbiology. 2007 Mar;153(Pt 3):898-904.

Sugar utilization patterns and respiro-fermentative metabolism in the baker's yeast Torulaspora delbrueckii.

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Center of Biology, Department of Biology, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal.


The highly osmo- and cryotolerant yeast species Torulaspora delbrueckii is an important case study among the non-Saccharomyces yeast species. The strain T. delbrueckii PYCC 5321, isolated from traditional corn and rye bread dough in northern Portugal, is considered particularly interesting for the baking industry. This paper reports the sugar utilization patterns of this strain, using media with glucose, maltose and sucrose, alone or in mixtures. Kinetics of growth, biomass and ethanol yields, fermentation and respiration rates, hydrolase activities and sugar uptake rates were used to infer the potential applied relevance of this yeast in comparison to a conventional baker's strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The results showed that both maltase and maltose transport in T. delbrueckii were subject to glucose repression and maltose induction, whereas invertase was subject to glucose control but not dependent on sucrose induction. A comparative analysis of specific sugar consumption rates and transport capacities suggests that the transport step limits both glucose and maltose metabolism. Specific rates of CO(2) production and O(2) consumption showed a significantly higher contribution of respiration to the overall metabolism in T. delbrueckii than in S. cerevisiae. This was reflected in the biomass yields from batch cultures and could represent an asset for the large-scale production of the former species. This work contributes to a better understanding of the physiology of a non-conventional yeast species, with a view to the full exploitation of T. delbrueckii by the baking industry.

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